There are plenty of ways to honour Remembrance Day without visiting cenotaphs

Many Legion branches looking to livestreaming and virtual ceremonies amid COVID-19

COVID-19 has ensured that Remembrance Day is not going to be the same this year, but the public is still encouraged to pay their respects when the clock strikes 11 a.m. on Nov. 11.

All Royal Canadian Legion branches across B.C. that have managed to stay open during the pandemic are working hard to honour those who have served, while still adhering to COVID-19 restrictions and guidelines.

Norm Scott, president of the Legion’s Greater Victoria-area Langford branch, told Black Press Media the branch was able to reopen in June after being temporarily closed during the height of the pandemic.

“There will be a small Legion service based on Remembrance Day protocol in the name of our fallen soldiers of the past and present,” Scott said.

Branch 91 has been around since 1937, although not necessarily in the location it is in now. The branch has moved twice, and is now sitting at Station Ave — a location that will be unfortunately closed on Remembrance Day, due to the safety for everyone.

“I’d rather not have the risk and the chance of something happening and putting the legion in jeopardy,” Scott said.

All Remembrance Day ceremonies will be held virtually, with each Legion holding a maximum occupancy of 50 people, for those who choose to stay open.

A woman lays flowers following Remembrance Day ceremonies at God’s Acre Veteran’s Cemetery in Victoria, B.C., on Sunday, November 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

A woman lays flowers following Remembrance Day ceremonies at God’s Acre Veteran’s Cemetery in Victoria, B.C., on Sunday, November 11, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito

The Osoyoos Legion, Branch 173, was mostly funded by K. Knudtson in 1946. The Legion has spent its entire 74-year history on 78 Street. Lyle Kent is their president.

“Our Remembrance Day ceremony on Nov. 11, will be extremely small,” Kent said. “We won’t be using any of the outdoor facilities because we won’t be able to guarantee a gathering of only 50 people.”

The Osoyoos Legion will be asking members or the general public to sign in with their name and phone number. Staff will be using this to keep track of how many people are in the building. Once it hits the 50-person cap, the branch will have to start turning people away.

Many aspects will look a little differently for Remembrance Day this year. Without the cadets handing out poppies, Legions are left to obtain poppy funds through local businesses, who put out counter boxes.

Bob Underhill, the second vice-president of The Royal Canadian Legion for the B.C. and Yukon Command, is chair of one of B.C.’s largest ceremonies – the Vancouver Remembrance Day committee for Victory Square.

Underhill says that there is a huge importance in receiving poppy funds.

“Poppy funds are held in trust and poppy funds that are collected in the area help veterans in those areas,” Underhill said. “The Legion can’t use it for anything else but to assist. That’s an important thing because a lot of people don’t understand that. We are very strict on where money can be used.”

This year, like most of the 1,350 different Legion branches across the country, Vancouver’s ceremony won’t be garnering its typically large crowd, instead allowing virtual access through livestreams and broadcasts.

To adhere to COVID-19 guidelines, many Legions have decided to lay wreaths themselves this year, in a spaced-out fashion.

To encourage social distancing, Kent said Osoyoos members will take each wreath to lay at the local cenotaph before the ceremony commences. The Victoria Legion has decided to do the same.

If people still wish to lay their own wreath, they are welcome to do so as long as it is outside the normal time of the eleventh hour of the eleventh day, Kent said.

“And turn on your TV for 11 a.m., Nov. 11 and watch the ceremony, and remember as we all will. “

Poppy donations can be placed online at legion.ca

In addition, Veterans Affairs Canada has suggested a number of physically-distanced ways to remember this year, including:

  • Listen to interviews with veterans in the First World War Audio Archives.
  • Watch La force francophone and learn about French-speaking Canadians who served in the Second World War.
  • Watch The Land of the Morning Calm – Canadians in Korea 1950-1953 which presents Korean War history, archival footage, interviews with Veterans of the Korean War and an interactive comprehensive history calendar.
  • Watch a collection of online interviews through a searchable database, with veterans from across Canada in “Heroes Remember.”
  • Visit your local cemetery and pay respect to a veteran’s grave.
  • Research the story of a family member, friend, alumni from your school or member of your community who served Canada in wartime or peacetime. If they died in service, you may wish to search for them on the Canadian Virtual War Memorial.
  • Write to veterans and Canadian Armed Forces members, by participating in the “Postcards for Peace e-cards,” or “Valentines for Vets” projects.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism? Make a donation here.

Remembrance Day

Just Posted

The Aquatic Centre at Western Financial Place.
Cranbrook Aquatic Center to close temporarily

The annual shutdown of the Aquatic Center at Western Financial Place will begin earlier than scheduled this year and does not have a defined end date at this time.

The latest EKASS survey confirms a steady decline in substance use among EK youth over the years. (image compilation via Pixabay)
Latest survey shows steady decline in adolescent substance use over the years

Starting in 2002, the survey has been conducted every two years to monitor changes in substance use patterns, attitudes and behaviors amongst East Kootenay youth.

The ‘official’ opening of 2nd Edition Coworking in downtown Fernie, a project five years in the making by the Fernie Chamber of Commerce. Left to right: Executive Director of the Fernie Chamber Brad Parsell, incoming President of the Fernie Chamber Norm Fraser, outgoing President of the Fernie Chamber Anita Palmer, and Mayor of Fernie Ange Qualizza. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Fernie Chamber cuts the ribbon on 2nd Edition

The new coworking space in Fernie is now ‘officially’ open, but has been operating since early 2021

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Sparwood Mayor David Wilks with the new AED SaveStation installed at the Sparwood Leisure Centre. (Contributed by District of Sparwood)
Sparwood installs public AED

The SaveStation was installed thanks to a grant from CP Rail

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Cruise ship passengers arrive at Juneau, Alaska in 2018. Cruise lines have begun booking passengers for trips from Seattle to Alaska as early as this July, bypassing B.C. ports that are not allowed to have visitors until March 2022 under a Canadian COVID-19 restrictions. (Michael Penn/Juneau Empire)
B.C. doesn’t depend on U.S. law to attract cruise ships, Horgan says

Provinces to get update next week on Canada’s border closure

This undated photo provided by Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails shows a scout donating cookies to firefighters in Rio Rancho, New Mexico, as part of the Hometown Heroes program. As the coronavirus pandemic wore into the spring selling season, many Girl Scout troops nixed their traditional cookie booths for safety reasons. That resulted in millions of boxes of unsold cookies. (Girl Scouts of New Mexico Trails via AP)
Thinner Mints: Girl Scouts have millions of unsold cookies

Since majority of cookies are sold in-person, pandemic made the shortfall expected

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

In this artist’s sketch, Nathaniel Veltman makes a video court appearance in London, Ont., on June 10, 2021 as Justice of the Peace Robert Seneshen (top left) and lawyer Alayna Jay look on. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould
Terror charges laid against London attack suspect

Crown says Nathaniel Veltman’s four counts of first-degree murder constitute an act of terrorism

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province's fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Most Read